Colin Kaepernick will be recognized with Harvard University’s “highest honor in the field of African and African-American studies” next month.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who became a figurehead of the controversial movement of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African-Americans, will be awarded the W.E.B. Dubois medal on October 11. The seven other recipients of the award will include comedian Dave Chappelle and Kehinde Wiley, the artist who created former President Obama’s presidential portrait.
“The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly, individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world,” Harvard said in a statement.
“In the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth, W. E. B. Du Bois would be proud of the eight individuals being recognized at this year’s Hutchins Center Honors,” said center director Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Kaepernick has been without an NFL job since the end of 2016. Critics have called his taking a knee for the anthem a slight to the flag and veterans, while he has accused the league of colluding to blacklist him in a lawsuit. Meanwhile, he has reappeared in headlines after becoming the face of Nike’s latest ad campaign.